Companies that specialise in food production face multiple challenges. They must ensure they work to the highest possible standards and produce a quality product, all the while adhering to health & safety and hygiene standards enforced by law.

An organisation inevitably faces challenges when they decide to manufacture a new kind of product within the same facility.

The manufacturing hub of VA Whitley (based in Heywood, Greater Manchester) provide batter for fish & chip shops all over the north of England and their services are often in high demand. Recently, they made the decision to produce a new kind of batter that was gluten free, a growing sector in the UK. As a result, they required a separate production area where there was no risk of cross-contamination between regular batter and the new mix. This was the only way they could guarantee that the new gluten free batter would contain no gluten whatsoever.

“The service we received from Westgate in sales assessment, planning and installation was exemplary and we are very pleased with the functionality of the finished working environment. The construction system helped to facilitate a rapid manufacturing solution for our specific requirements.”

In order to assist VA Whitley with this requirement, Westgate suggested assembling a 4m x 8m x 4m Hoardfast® room. The room would be bolted to the ground using bolt-down mullions for stability and incorporate built in Flexidoor® (crash doors). Flexidoors offer a wide variety of benefits, including a cost-effective solution to heat loss, the ability to retain conditioned air, the ability to control the influx of dust and fumes and also the ability to prevent contamination. Noise pollution is also reduced when a Flexidoor® system is put in place.

Self-supporting and freestanding 50mm thick PVC panels were utilised for the structure of the room, as these offer a hygienic wash-down finish, and dust-tight interlocking panels to prevent any risk of contamination. The rigid nature of the materials used ensured that all internal fixtures could be fitted to both the walls and ceiling quickly and easily.

The overall construction time from the point of initial enquiry to the beginning of installation (including design and consultation work) for the VA Whitley project was four weeks. The modular design and construction on site meant that the installation itself was completed entirely in just three days. The result was minimal downtime for VA Whitley, so their gluten free batter production could be up and running quickly

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